Hello Everyone!! As many of you know, we have been entered into the 2014 Wildlife Conservation Challenge. We are in the process of submitting our initial design concept. Before I get into that, I would like to thank our sponsors that are making this possible. RVJET has provided the RVJET airframes. Fruity Chutes is providing the recovery chute. MyFlyDream is providing their top notch antenna tracking system and Xenics Infrared Solutions out of Belgium is providing us with a Gobi 640 Thermal Imaging Camera for the contest. We have other sponsors sending items and we will be announcing them as we are integrating them into the design. Fruity Chutes is even going to give us a coupon code that we can give out to all of you, so that you can get a discount on your own system. We will be providing that soon on here and our team website.
Ok, so I know that many of you are excited to hear about the RVJET. I have been flying my personal plane in the long wing configuration and I am eager to try out flying in the short wing setup, I have provided some pictures so that you can see the modular air frame concepts. As you can see it is a versatile aircraft that can be configured for multiple mission parameters. I think making it an ideal UAS platform.
The double fuselage is a concept that I am not sure has been tested yet. It was designed by Simon Hedstrom and his team to be able to fly in this configuration. We wish to use this configuration because of the requirement for systems integration by the contest rules. The basis of the contest is to design a relatively inexpensive UAS that can perform anti-poaching missions in an area the size of New Jersey. Therefore, it will need to be versatile and carry a rather large payload.
The integrated systems will be as follows. We are planning to use the Pixhawk autopilot with a teleflypro attached to the GPS to give us automatic antenna tracking on the ground. The OSD will be handled by the RVOSD6. We will not integrate flight stalization from the rvosd. We need the processing power and the waypoint capabilities of the Pixhawk. Telemetry communications will be through a modified Openlrs 1W Transmitter hacked into a receiver. Thank you Ben from Luxembourg for the coding for this modification. We will integrate 1.3ghz and 5.8 ghz for video of both cameras and of course they will have switching so that a single or multiple users will be able to view from either camera during the mission. We will also stream the video over a TCP/IP network for alternate user/device access. That will probably be from the ground station so that on board systems are not taxed. The camera pods are interchangeable and complete so that it only requires three quick connect wires and four screws to complete a change. The night vision with IR capable camera and Thermal Vision are going to be the most exciting payloads. However, the day camera with a separate mapping camera is going to provide mountains of useful data. Including urban and agricultural encroachment history and changes to topography or vegetation over time.
The anti-poaching systems go beyond the visual aid of cameras. One system that will be integrated is an RFID interrogator to be able to scan and identify individual animals in the game preserve. This will be a long range reader that can read a chip from at least 300ft AGL. We are hoping to achieve twice that. The second system is long range metal detection. The idea is to be able to identify a threat from humans on the ground. Do they have vehicles? Are they carrying weapons and such. While the Thermal Camera will be able to identify recently fired weapons, it will not see the weapons if they are cold. This will probably be the hardest of the systems to integrate because I fear that we will have to provide robust shielding from EMI of the metal detector coil. Finally, we will have a non-lethal deterrent as well. We are planning on integrating a laser dazzler. It is a diffused laser that pulses to combine a nauseating and disorienting effect on a potential threat.
The combined effect of these systems should make for a potent competition UAV. It will be able to perform multiple simultaneous mission objectives over a long range and adequate time on mission. It will be able to fly autonomously or under manual control. It will be able to provide data to a large number of users in multiple locations in real time. The UAS will identify individual animals and scan for potential threats. On identity of a possible threat the UAS will be able to provide a detailed assessment of the threat. We identify the number of individuals in the party and whether or not they have vehicles or weapons. Upon confirmation of weapons, rangers will be aware of the requirements of the situation and the location of individuals. The UAS can engage in non-lethal interdiction preventing the ability of the poachers to engage the animal and confusing them to deter escape till authorities arrive.
Thank you again for all of your feedback and support. We look forward to providing more details of the build and test flights. Till next time.
2014 Aerial Vista Challenge Team